Scott’s Daily Prompt — The Clock

I heard the car door slam, and immediately looked at the clock. Jesus Christ, it’s after four in the morning, I thought. My heart sank. I know she’ll deny that she’s having an affair. She’ll tell me that she had to work late again tonight on that “special project.” Yeah, I’m sure that the “project” her boss, Dan, has her working on with him until the wee hours of the morning nearly every night over the past few weeks, has been quite special, at least for the two of them.

I turned on my side and pretended, as I’ve done nightly since her “project” kept her out late, to still be asleep when she walked into our bedroom. Her late night routine was always the same. She’d undress, get into her pajamas, go into the bathroom to wash off her makeup and brush her teeth. Then she’d come back in the bedroom, crawl under the covers, being careful not to disturb me. And when the alarm went off a few hours later, she would act like nothing untoward was going on. But I knew what she and Dan have been up to, and it was going to come to a head right now.

I flicked on the light and sat up in bed. “No, Elaine, I’m not asleep. I am always awake when you’ve been coming home at three or four in the morning from you so-called special project with Dan,” I said. “I’m not stupid. I know what’s going on.”

“Oh honey,” Elaine said. “I was going to try and let you sleep and tell you first thing in the morning, but the project is over. Dan and I finished it tonight and we’re making our pitch to the investors tomorrow. Honey, if this deal goes through, the investors will be buying our company and we’ll be millionaires!”

“Millionaires?” I said. “Oh sweetheart, I’m sure you and Dan will have a successful pitch tomorrow. And Elaine, I want you to know that I never lost faith in you. I love you.”

Elaine looked at me. “What did you mean when you said that you’re not stupid?”

Written for Scott’s Daily Prompt, where we are supposed to include the sentence, “I heard the car door slam, and immediately looked at the clock,” in our post. Photo credit:

Happiness Engineers

“Damn,” Rachel said. “Hey Jimmy, can you come take a look at this?.”

“Hey, Rachel, what do you need?” Jimmy asked.

“I got a help ticket from a user. There’s something wrong with the user interface,” Rachel said. “It doesn’t seem to recognize when the user is logged in. And when they try to log back in it causes the app to crash.”

“Hmm. Let me toss out a trial balloon. See what happens if you remove this line of code right here,” Jimmy said, pointing to Rachel’s monitor. “That seems superfluous and deleting it just might obviate the need for the user to have to reauthenticate.”

Rachel removed the line of code that Jimmy had suggested. “Fingers crossed,” she said when she restarted the app. It crashed again.

“Okay, well I’m afraid that was more like a lead balloon,” Jimmy said.

“We have to figure out how to fix this fast,” Rachel said. “If the app keeps crashing every time a user tries to log back in, that’s a huge liability.”

“Listen, Rachel,” Jimmy said. “Respond back to the user who opened the ticket. Tell him you understand how frustrating this is and that you’ve been able to replicate the problem. Tell him that you’re going to notify the developers about the issue and have them make it a priority. Explain that we can’t provide a definitive date for when it will be fixed, but that you’ll get back to him with an update.”

“Right,” Rachel said. “You know, Jimmy, that’s pretty much our standard response to any help ticket we get. I wish there was more that we could do.”

“Come on, Rachel,” Jimmy said. “You’ve been a Happiness Engineer long enough to know that we take all the flack but can’t do shit when it comes to actually fixing the problem. “That’s what the developers do.”

“Jimmy, have you ever met or even talked with a developer?” Rachel asked.

“No, but I’m sure they exist,” Jimmy said. “Don’t they?”

Written for these daily prompts: Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (help), BlogBattle (interface), The Daily Spur (recognize), Word of the Day Challenge (crash), Ragtag Daily Prompt (balloon), Your Daily Word Prompt (obviate), My Vivid Blog (afraid), E.M.’s Random Word Prompt (liability). Image credit:

Fandango’s Provocative Question #157


Welcome once again to Fandango’s Provocative Question. Each week I will pose what I think is a provocative question for your consideration.

By provocative, I don’t mean a question that will cause annoyance or anger. Nor do I mean a question intended to arouse sexual desire or interest.

What I do mean is a question that is likely to get you to think, to be creative, and to provoke a response. Hopefully a positive response.

Shit happens. No matter how hard we try, we can’t stop certain things from happening. We can’t always control what is going on around us and, therefore, we can’t totally control what is happening in our lives. In fact, there is a growing body of research in neuroscience suggesting that we aren’t really in charge of our lives, at least to the degree we think we are.

Yet one of our basic human needs is a sense of control, to know that we have a choice, that our actions make a difference.

Given the matter how much control we have over our own lives, my provocative question this week is…

Looking at your own situation, how much of your life is formed by things that are outside of your control versus things that are within your control? Please elaborate to the extent you feel comfortable.

If you choose to participate, write a post with your response to the question. Once you are done, tag your post with #FPQ and create a pingback to this post if you are on WordPress. Or you can simply include a link to your post in the comments. But remember to check to confirm that your pingback or your link shows up in the comments.